Coming together to work through Covid-19
As we begin to see a lifting of lockdown we look back with pride that throughout the Covid-19 pandemic our staff and management worked together to maintain operations and service customers, whilst all the while keeping a safe and secure workplace for our teams. So how did we do this?
Those employees who could work effectively independently and didn't need to regularly interactive with customers, supplier and team members on hourly basis, worked from home. For the remaining staff, it was essential that we created a safe office environment.
Nationwide Hire HQ is an office capable of housing over 100 people so we were fortunate to have space to work with. After implementing social distancing measures and creating staff bubbles we would be able to have between 30 – 40 of our operationally customer service key staff, in the office at any one time.
A total of four staff bubbles were created and these were split across two floors. More importantly each bubble had its own entrance and exit and meeting rooms were converted into breakout areas so that each bubble had access to its own kitchen and welfare facilities. We even provided new equipment such as fridges and microwaves for each bubble, fully ensuring that there was no need for any mixing of bubbles within the building.
Perspex screens were added to all desks and a policy of wearing facemasks when away from their workstation was implemented. A number of thermo-scanners were also purchased and provided to each of the bubbles along with other antibacterial products such as hand sanitisers.
Safety of the staff team has been our highest priority as HR & Talent Manager, Lee Fisher explains:
“Introducing these safety measures and precautions is something I never would have thought I would need to do but I’m so proud of how we, as a business and a staff team, have risen to the challenge.”
“As the year progressed we needed to make changes to the initial bubbles we’d created and it was important to not undo all the hard work to date. We arranged for an external Covid-19 test provider to come on site and setup a testing unit. The result was not one single positive test which meant that we could confidently make the changes that were needed.”
The same level of care was given to our staff who have been working from home. They each received a home working assessment via a video-call which identified items such as office chairs and dual screen working layouts that were needed and could be delivered to ensure safe working from home.
Communication across the company has been key throughout this process. We carried out a company-wide staff survey that focused on employee wellbeing and our handling of the business during lockdown. In addition to providing some valuable insights it also showed a high level of positive feedback about how Nationwide Hire has acted during the pandemic.
We all hope that we continue to see positive steps towards a return to normal, however we’ll continue to review and adjust our practices in order to maintain a happy and healthy workplace for all.